May 7, 2013
NCAA REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
Friday, May 10 -- vs. Virginia Tech (Lexington, Ky.), Noon
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The No. 22-ranked University of Michigan men's tennis team (16-9) will open NCAA Tournament play this week, traveling to Lexington, Ky., to participate in the NCAA Regional hosted by No. 8 Kentucky at the Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Complex. U-M will face No. 41 Virginia Tech (15-9) in the first round at noon on Friday (May 10), while host Kentucky (20-11), the tournament's No. 8 seed, and Western Michigan (19-9) will square off at 3 p.m. The winners of the two first-round matches will square off on Saturday (May 11) at 2 p.m. with a berth to the Sweet 16 on the line.
Michigan has won its NCAA first-round match in five of the past six seasons, including a sweep of Middle Tennessee last year. The last time U-M made it out of regional play was 2008 before losing in the Sweet 16.
Dual Match Format -- This week's dual matches will be contests for the best-of-seven team points. The dual will begin with three doubles matches consisting of eight-game pro sets. The team that wins two of these three matches will enter the singles competition with one of seven points. For postseason competition, once the doubles point has been clinched, the remaining doubles matches will not be completed. After a brief intermission, six singles matches will be played. Each singles match will be the best-of-three tie-break sets and worth one point towards the team competition. The overall dual match will be decided when one team secures four total points. All other matches in progress when the match point is clinched will be abandoned.
Senior Evan King will represent Michigan at the 2013 NCAA Individual Championships, earning the No. 11 seed for the singles competition to guarantee himself ITA All-America status for the third time in his career. King earned one of the possible 45 at-large selections to the 64-player NCAA singles field. This marks King's third straight selection to the singles competition.
Michigan advanced to the Big Ten Tournament championship match for the first time in program history, defeating Indiana and Minnesota before falling to Ohio State, 4-0, in the tournament finale.
Of Michigan's 25 opponents this season, 16 qualified for the NCAA Tournament, including two teams seeded among the tournament's top 10. The Wolverines went 7-9 against NCAA competition, knocking off TCU, Wake Forest, Michigan State, LSU, Minnesota, Illinois and Northwestern. U-M dropped matches to California, Duke, Tulsa, Notre Dame, Pepperdine, Texas, Minnesota and Ohio State on two occasions.
After splitting its final two dual matches of the Big Ten regular season, Michigan finished 9-2 in Big Ten play for the second consecutive season, concluding regular-season play tied with Minnesota for second place in the conference standings. U-M has finished among the Big Ten's top four teams in each of the last nine seasons.
The Wolverines saw their seven-match win streak halted by No. 5-ranked Ohio State in the regular-season finale. Michigan has won 12 of its last 15 matches overall, with two of those three losses coming to the Buckeyes.
Senior Evan King owns the U-M program record for most combined career singles and doubles wins. After two more victories at last week's Big Ten Tournament, King upped his career total to 190 wins (112 singles, 78 doubles). Prior to this season, Peter Pusztai previously owned the school record for most combined victories with 180 career triumphs (115 singles, 65 doubles) from 1993-96.
For the second consecutive season, senior Evan King earned Big Ten Conference Athlete of the Year honors, the conference office announced on Thursday, April 25. The Wolverine senior boasts a 28-4 record, including a 22-1 record in dual-match record, and carries an 11-match winning streak.
Senior Evan King also earned All-Big Ten first team honors for the fourth straight season, garnering a unanimous selection for the third year in a row.
Junior Barrett Franks earned second-team all-conference recognition after finishing the regular season with a career-best 17-3 dual-match record, including a 9-1 mark in conference singles action.
On March 6, senior Evan King became only the fifth Wolverine in program history to post 100 career singles victories, accomplishing the feat by defeating Pepperdine's seventh-ranked Sebastian Fanselow, 6-2, 6-4, at the No. 1 singles position. The victory also marked King's second top-10 win of the season.
On March 13, senior Evan King collected his third Big Ten Athlete of the Week accolade of the season after putting together a 3-0 road trip. King has garnered Big Ten Athlete of the Week on nine occasions during his Wolverine career.
Junior Alex Buzzi has won nine of his last 10 matches and holds a 20-7 overall record this season.
After starting the dual-match season 0-5 in singles competition, redshirt sophomore Justin Rossi finished the regular season a perfect 4-0 in Big Ten action.
Virginia Tech is making its seventh consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament after earning an at-large berth into this year's field. The Hokies went 6-4 in the Atlantic Coast Conference and posted a 1-1 mark at the ACC Men's Tennis Championship, falling to Wake Forest, 4-2, in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament. Virginia Tech fields a young group of players as nine of the 11 team members are either freshmen or sophomores.
The Wolverines are 3-0 all-time against Virginia Tech, including a 4-2 victory when the teams last met at the ITA Kick-Off Weekend in 2011.
Michigan is listed as the No. 22-ranked team in the latest ITA national rankings, released last Wednesday (May 2). Senior Evan King is listed at No. 13 in the latest edition of the 2013 ranking, while sophomore Vlad Stefan is 125th in the ITA singles rankings. U-M's top doubles tandem of King and junior Shaun Bernstein is No. 40 in the country, while the pairing of King and junior Alex Buzzi is ranked 57th.
The Wolverines have claimed the doubles point in 13 of 25 dual matches this season, combining for a 29-27 doubles record. Senior Evan King and junior Shaun Bernstein own an 8-6 mark at the No. 1 position, while the tandem of King and junior Alex Buzzi is 5-1 together at the top of the lineup. U-M is 10-3 when winning the doubles point this season and 6-6 when dropping the initial point.
Thu-Tue., May 16-21 -- at NCAA Championships (Urbana, Ill.)
Wed-Mon., May 22-27 -- at NCAA Individual Championships (Urbana, Ill.)